Wear the Gown brought to you by CHI St. Vincent. g That leaves us to Wear the Gown. This is our bi-weekly reminder to see your
doctor regularly, and what are we talking about today
is peripheral artery disease or PAD. I wouldn’t expect you to. It
affects older adults but it needs to be addressed, because it can
lead to problems and it’s all about traffic jams. Blockages of those highways
that take you to work or home can be irritating but when it comes to matters
of the heart. Blockages of the branches that come off the aorta, which is the
highway which the blood takes to go to the organs–that’s peripheral artery
disease or PAD, and that can be deadly. It can lead to coronary artery disease,
inducing strokes and heart attacks. And here’s the bad news.
It’s one of the most common atherosclerotic diseases that we have. It’s
actually more common than some cancers. People over 65 are the most
susceptible, along with diabetics over age 50 and smokers over age 50. Smoking
increases your risk of peripheral artery disease about fourfold. Dr. Ghosheh is
quick to point out how the disease has no symptoms until it has progressed. And then– leg symptoms on exertion or even at rest at night. These can be the tell-tale
signs of early blockages in the legs and some of them
will present with an unhealing ulcer on their toes or their feet. It’s why when
you get checked, or put on the gown as we say, get ready to take something off. Visit your primary care. Take off your socks and shoes. Make sure the
physician examines you to look for early signs of peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Ghosheh gave us the good news that there are medications and treatments available.
This condition is a clarion call to older adults to get it caught early. You
have the ability and the facility to improve circulation. The heart highway,
like an interstate, is so much more efficient when all is clear. About 60% of people with PAD are going to develop coronary artery disease. And
that’s a message that simply says wear the gown.